Social and legal changes have expanded the term family to include people than beyond relationships by blood or marriage. Perhaps the most well-known formal way to change a family involves the legal process of adoption. While prospective parents confront a variety of questions and their biological children process new relationships, adopted children endure effects that demand equal attention.
Five most common effects
Even after long contemplation, adoptive parents will never devise a solution for every situation the new family will encounter. Familiarity with some of the possible issues that may arise could ease the transition for everyone. Five common effects adopted children undergo include:
- Poor academics: Studies indicate a lack of involvement in and support by the adopted parents can lead feelings of failure if the children do not perform as well as their non-adopted siblings.
- Feelings of rejection: Depending on the circumstances behind the adoption, children may wonder whether their parents abandoned them or they have something wrong with them. Reassurance of their equal value in the family will reduce this fear.
- Mourning for birth culture: More relevant in trans-racial adoptions, this factor will vary based upon age. Natural feelings of anger and depression can arise.
- Identity: Questions about their birth families will likely arise, as well as possibly their culture and other traits.
- Medical history: Adoptive parents and the children may lack a complete medical history, which aids in proper treatment.
Fewer adoptions throughout the United States
Perhaps surprisingly, adoptions have declined consistently over the past several years. Florida has declined from 298 adoptions annually in 2014 to zero in 2020. Similarly, the number of adoptions in the United States during the same period plummeted from 6,438 to 805.
Age, socio-economic upbringing, and the reasons for separation contribute to how long and how intensely adopted children may experience emotional unease. No handbook provides a set of instructions for a worry-free experience. Attorneys who understand the need for compassionate support can offer guidance through the adoption process.